It was only a matter of time before a smart multicooker hit the market. The Kenwood kCook is kitchen appliance in the “food processor that cooks” category, which includes the Thermomix, Bellini Kitchen Master, and All-Clad Prep and Cook. To stand out from the crow, Kenwood, which is part of De’Longhi, partnered with Drop, the maker of a smart kitchen scale, to create an app that would work with the multicooker.
Unlike the Thermomix, which has an integrated scale, the kCook’s is separate. But the scale, multicooker, and app all work together to help you follow along with the hundreds of included recipes. The multicooker is able to perform several functions, including chopping, whisking, cooking, steaming, blending, slicing, and grating. You can use it to make risotto, soup, stew curries, dip, dough, and so on.
While the included scale is Kenwood branded, it’s using the same technology that Drop’s does. The app is key, because instead of measuring in tablespoons and cups, you weigh your ingredients. It’s a much more precise way of cooking but not one many Americans are familiar with. As you go through the recipe, the app will prompt you through each step, and you can see how many ounces of milk or butter you’ve added so far on your phone. The scale itself doesn’t have a display.
At the moment, we could only see about 20 recipes in the Drop app’s Kenwood section. They included butternut squash stew, West African peanut soup, traditional ratatouille, and chocolate chip cookies. There’s also a specific Kenwood World app with about 400 kCook-ready recipes only available in France at the moment. It seems like the add-your-own recipe function is still in beta, so you will have to do some mental conversions if you want to make something not in the app. One handy feature of the app-guided cooking is that it shows you what sort of blade you need to insert into the appliance for the different steps. There are a variety of buttons on the kCook for manual cooking, too.
The kCook is launching in France first, at a price of about $982, according to The Spoon. It’s an interesting choice, as products like the Thermomix are already fairly well-known in Europe. It recently introduced the Cook Key, which retrofits Thermomixes to be Wi-Fi connected, letting users download new recipes for a yearly fee.
It sounds like this is just the first product from the Kenwood-Drop partnership. In a video discussing the kCook, Drop CEO Ben Harris talked about integrating voice control, machine learning and vision, sensors, and other connected appliances into the ecosystem, while also bringing in meal delivery kits. The scale maker has already partnered GE Appliances and Bosch, letting users preheat their ovens to a recipe’s specified temperature. Whether these brands will also let the kCook join the discussion is unclear.
Updated 4/9/2018 to include information about the Kenwood World app.
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